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Trainer viewpoint: Clare Sheridan on the impact of Management 1st training

12 Dec 2023
People 1st International

As the visitor economy sector continues in its recovery from the impact of the pandemic, recruitment and retention challenges have continued to disrupt businesses. Our State of the Workforce 2023 research sheds light on scale of the issue and highlights the crucial role that effective management and leadership skills play in navigating these hurdles.

Managers have often been promoted because of their technical skills, without receiving the required management and leadership development. A recent study by the Chartered Management Institute demonstrated the signifi­cance of the problem with ‘accidental managers’ contributing to almost one in three workers quitting.

Providing training that gives individuals the skills needed to effectively recruit, retain and motivate employees and ensuring that promotions are not just based on technical competence but also take into account behaviours and other key leadership traits is crucial to improve retention and productivity.

We spoke to Clare Sheridan, Director of Learning and Development at Set Hotels, who shared her experience of using the Management 1st training programme to upskill managers. Licensed by People 1st International to deliver the programme in-house for Set Hotels, Clare gives her viewpoint on how the programme helps their front-line managers to develop the communication skills and confidence they need to succeed and be effective in their role.


What need did you have for management and leadership training in your business?

After the opening of our Café Hotel Royal in London, we recognised a gap in the management skills of our team. We needed to support those in, or preparing to go in, to first line management positions that hadn’t received any formalised management training. In particular, we wanted address that foundation level of management who had often been promoted as they had valuable experience and excelled in their roles technically but needed the skills to be able to effectively manage, develop and retain employees.


What made you decide to become a Management 1st licensed trainer?

We considered a range of options to fulfil our needs to upskill front line managers. Management 1st is such practical programme, so it really fits the bill. It can be tailored to suit the needs of our business and when delivering I can contextualise it to our hotels and the bring in specific examples that resonate with our colleagues.


What impact has the training has on your business?

The programme has huge impact on the career development of our managers. They are energised, motivated and uplifted when they finish the final module. The programme always gets fantastic feedback and participants love the participatory nature of it.

We certainly see the impact it has on retention at that level. And even for those who move on in their career to work in different places, we’ve received feedback to say the programme has stood them in good stead.

We’ve recently expanded the programme from our London hotel into our Amsterdam and Paris venues. Its early days but I’m confident the programme will have a similar impact.


What tips would you offer to other trainers about to embark on delivery of the programme?

  • Build in flexibility: The modules provide a great structure but there’s so much opportunity to build in different ideas, methods, modes and theories, and of course to bring it to life with specific examples within your business.
  • Be prepared to adapt: The approach to delivery needs to work for your teams. With some of our teams we deliver one module every two weeks. We also enhance the programme with e-modules.


“I’d certainly recommend the Management 1st programme to others. In an industry where people get promoted quite quickly it gives that foundational understanding of what it means to be a manager. The programme is incredibly versatile as it can be flexible to suit your audience and delivery approach.”

The Management 1st programme is ideal for people working in working junior or middle management roles – including team leaders, supervisors and operational managers – who have direct responsibility for and manage a team on a daily basis. It’s also perfect for team members who have been identified for promotion, helping to create a pipeline of well-trained managers that will support your succession planning and improve retention as managers learn soft skills to keep their staff motivated and engaged.

To find out more, get in touch.

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